Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to 2013's first edition of Go West!, your weekly column about Japanese video games, Idea Factory, and the guy suffering through it all.
After a long holiday hiatus, I'm back with a meager list of new releases. I know, I shed a single silent tear too.
In any case, follow me after the break as I dig into some PSP games.
New releases for the week of January 13-19:
Dream C Club Zero: Special Edipyon!
Online Price: 7,468 Yen ($82.90)
How many times has Dream C Club been released at this point? This is a super special port of a Vita port of a PS3 port of an Xbox 360 game.
New goodies include more costumes for the hostesses to wear, more songs for them to sing, and a variety of other inconsequential goodies for you to enjoy with your female of choice. Unlike most dating sim-type games, Dream C Club genuinely creeps me out because host/hostess clubs are not nice places. Lots of not so happy stuff frequently goes on behind the scenes, and the whole thing just makes me feel bad.
But hey, if you enjoy these games, more power to you. This one is never going to be localized, so if you think it's worth your hard earned money, go for it. For what it's worth though, I'd recommend going for something like THE IDOLM@STER instead. It's got the gameplay and polish to make it worth playing.
Bandai Namco Games
Online Price: 6,838 Yen ($75.90)
Jo and Mimi forever.
I have something to confess. I was never a Pokemon sort of kid. In actuality, Digimon was where my allegiances were, back in the day. The reason was fairly simple: the TV show that aired every Saturday morning completely captured my imagination in all the right ways. That Bandai Namco Games went and adapted the entire TV series into a PSP game fills me with a deep joy.
A turn based RPG that covers the entire first season of the show as well as the films, Digimon Adventure is high on fanservice for old school fans like myself. Honestly, if it wasn't so expensive, I'd probably grab a digital copy of this in a heartbeat. Visually, it captures the feel of the anime quite well, though reviews seem to imply that there isn't a whole ton of depth to be had.
Still, it's certainly tempting, and I'm sure that once the price drops I'll be all over it like Tai on Matt. This is definitely never going west, so feel free to import if your Japanese is good enough.
Wizardmon 4 life.
Otometeki Koi Kakumei Love Revo!! 100kg Kara Hajimaru-Koimonogatari
Online Price: 6,207 Yen ($68.90)
Oh Idea Factory, what goodies do you have in store for me this week? I can hardly wait!
The main character is a 2nd year in high school. When she was but a child, she was an adorable girl who won every single beauty contest she entered. There was no way she could ever lose. Yet she let her guard down, and ended up eating far more of her favorite snacks than she should have, causing her to grow to a large 100kg! Oh no!
Amidst all of this, 5 gorgeous students from school move in to her father's apartment building. With the promise of romance in the air, our heroine can't help but be excited. What she finds however is disappointment, as the boys pay her no mind whatsoever. Her older brother steps in and tells her that if she can drop the pounds, she'll be able to get any man she wants!
Just where will her diet and love take her?!
Oh Idea Factory, I'm just going to close my eyes and pretend I didn't see this one.
Koukon no Sinsemilla Portable
Online Price: 6,568 Yen ($72.90)
You know, Cyber Front appears often enough in this column that I'm starting to feel some kind of attachment toward them. I guess it's kind of like Stockholm Syndrome or something.
Kosuke grew up in a small rural village known for its traditions and legends. After the sudden death of his mother, he ends up moving away. Now a college student, he returns to the town during the summer for a part time job his aunt offers him. While there, he's reunited with old faces and new ones as well. These girls are the key that will lead him to better understanding the countryside and its appeal. But one day, something appears to threaten his everyday happiness. While in the mountains, he encounters a strange monster that, if unchecked, could destroy everything he knows and loves.
What kind of answer will Kosuke's determination lead to?
Huh. That actually sounds a lot better than I was expecting it to, at least based on the art. I can't say it's enough for me to actually want to play it, but hey, if you're looking to try a new PSP VN, this might not be a bad place to start.
[And that's all for this week folks! It feels good to be back in the swing of things, and I'm looking forward to bringing some new and big things to the column this year. Thanks for sticking with me, and don't forget to check out the Red Sun Gamer Podcast, of which Eric and I are apart of. We're a bunch of guys in Japan who talk about life here and Japanese videogames. See you all next week!]